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The Archaeology Collection

The archaeology collection consists of around 36,000 objects, of which approximately 30,000 are ceramic vessels or sherds. The collection has material ranging from the Palaeolithic period to the Post-Medieval period.

The Romans

There is a particularly strong Roman collection, with thousands of finds from the Templeborough Fort and vicus excavations dating from the 1870s, 1916-17, 1940s, 1950s and 2000s. Some of the most notable pieces are the Roman grave markers (including one to a named female), intact ceramic vessels and the structural remains of the granary. From the same excavations, there are also examples of jewellery, building material, and evidence of glass and metal working.

The Roman collections from Templeborough are supplemented by material found from other locations in Rotherham and from further afield, such as London and the Mediterranean. The collection also contains coins, including large Roman coin hoards from the Rotherham area. One of the best examples of a Roman coin is a golden Aureus of the Emperor Vespasian.

Medieval and Post-Medieval

We have a strong example of Medieval and Post-Medieval material, most of which was discovered during excavations around the Borough of Rotherham. Although the majority of material is made up of ceramic sherds, there are some whole ceramic vessels from Green Lane Pottery in Rawmarsh. The collection also has domestic and monastic items from Roche Abbey, and a selection of Tudor floor tiles and brickwork from the College of Jesus.


We have a good collection of Prehistory items originating from both Rotherham and around the world. These range from the earliest Palaeolithic tools and bones discovered at Cresswell Crags and Anston, to the Bronze Age pots and flints from Canklow.

We have two major collections of Prehistoric material. The Harold Copley Collection, consists of nearly 1,000 items, many of which are Neolithic and Bronze Age flints, found in the 1940s between Herringthorpe, Whiston and Canklow. The Gatty Collection contains around 150 Palaeolithic to Bronze Age flints found in the Hooton Roberts area.

Early Medieval

Our archaeology collection contains an excellent, group of Early Medieval objects. These include ornate Saxon and Viking gold and silver items, the Sagar Hoard of Saxon coins, and the excavation archive from Laughton-en-le-Morthen, which includes rare ceramic sherds and kiln material.

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